From eLearning to Mobile Learning, but would we still prefer to learn in the classroom?

From eLearning to Mobile Learning, but would we still prefer to learn in the classroom?

Only 10 years ago the challenge for those deploying training via eLearning was PC and internet technologies, with screen resolution and broadband speed being two of the biggest hurdles. As we sought a more flexible work/life balance laptops were slowly introduced. Laptops in turn have brought their own complexities in terms of remote connection and security. As each of these barriers has been overcome, the workforce has benefited from the means to work anywhere and now working from home or on the train has become the norm. Mobile Devices are now the latest ‘must have’ – I for one have been trying to justify the purchase of the latest iPad to my accounts department for months – but are there any real business benefits to ‘going mobile’? Well, if my eagerness to get an iPad is anything to go by then there is one clear benefit – to harness the enthusiasm of the user!! The benefits of eLearning for the remote or mobile workforce are undeniable in terms of time and budget. But are organisations now considering utilising mobile technology for learning (Mobile Learning as it is now known)?

Mobile Learning Survey

We recently undertook a survey to establish the perception of Mobile Learning amongst our clients. The results were quite interesting; 90% of those with a mobile workforce still deliver classroom training and 70% offer eLearning, but only 9% are already offering some form of Mobile Learning solution. Our research did not ask why organisations still show a preference for classroom training, although I would certainly deduce that the classroom training is being offered as part of a blended solution.

There was almost an equal split of respondents feeling that it is and is not the right time to consider Mobile Learning and, when asked about the perceived benefits of Mobile Learning, time and cost saving was not surprisingly quoted most often.

With software vendors recognising the demand for all types of learning – IT Systems, Soft Skills and Compliance being just a few – I do believe time is now right to consider Mobile Learning. Unfortunately, the expectation that the features and functions available on our laptop will somehow automatically be delivered to our mobile device is a misconception. As much as I would love to say we can deliver everything we need on a mobile device, no problem, let’s order that new iPad, I think there is a way to go before we are truly ready.

View the survey results

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Janice Brown is the founding director of Larmer Brown Limited. She has worked with Oracle’s User Productivity Kit (UPK) technology since 1994 and has over 25 years’ experience in the design and delivery of end user driven implementations. Janice has Diplomas in Business Studies and is a member of the Institute of IT Training.

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